Small snacks in the box, goulash soup for the mechanics and, of course, always fresh coffee for everyone – Roland and Heidrun Albrecht and their team from Zander Catering in Berlin are behind all of this. They have been taking care of the catering for Land-Motorsport at the races for many years and know exactly what the preferences of each individual team member are. We spoke to Roland about his work.
How can one imagine your work; how do you organise yourselves?
Whether it’s snacks in the box, coffee, cake, the barbecue buffet, sandwiches, fruit or the lunch and dinner menus – we prepare all of that for the team on site and make sure that everyone gets their money’s worth. Depending on the racetrack, we plan the arrival and departure accordingly, so that the team is well taken care of not only during the event, but also during set-up and dismantling. Sometimes that also means that we arrive on Wednesdays and only go home on Mondays. We have local partners, such as wholesale markets or bakers, from whom we buy the goods fresh and then prepare them directly on site. At racetracks, such as the Nürburgring, where we know supply is a challenge, we bring many things with us from Berlin in refrigerated trailers.
How did the cooperation with Land come about and what does a race weekend look like for you?
Originally, we were part of a sponsorship package for various racing teams, until we started working for Land a few years ago. Through many years of working together, a good relationship has developed and even when the sponsor withdrew, we stayed. On race weekends, we are usually the first ones in the paddock. Sometimes everyone wonders how we always manage to do that, even if there are no official set-up times yet. You help each other out and, of course, there is always a hot coffee, a sausage or a piece of cake for the employees at the track – that way you can get to your location earlier. Then we set everything up without stress and have the goulash soup ready so that everyone has something warm to eat right after unloading. Finally, it’s time to prepare for the next few days. Depending on what is on the menu, one of our employees goes shopping and the others cook and prepare. Thanks to the good preparation, we are fortunate to always see a lot of the races. It is always an absolute highlight for every employee to be present at such events.
How do you decide what is on the menu?
At the beginning of the year, there is always a season meeting so that we can prepare for the races in the best possible way. About one to two weeks before the events, we receive the list of drivers, staff and guests who will be there that weekend. Tanja is an important contact point for our planning. After working together for a long time, we already know quite well what everyone’s preferences are. For example, one driver may only eat older beef, another only poultry and the next only vegetarian or seafood. If unknown names are on the list, we check again whether there are any allergies or other specifics that we have to pay attention to. Then we decide what the menu should look like, depending on the season and the offer at the respective track. This is then approved once again and we are ready to go. However, some of the dishes are unchangeable and must always be prepared. For example, a clear soup is always available for the junior chef himself and things like offal are completely avoided. But everyone is always as happy as children when on Fridays fish fingers with creamed spinach is served.